In today’s Internet economy, more than 77% of all American consumers are online whether it be via their smart phone, email or social networks, according to a recent Pew Internet and American Life Survey. As a marketer, business owner, or devoted stylist, you know how important it is to leverage the Internet to connect with your customers. Let’s face it, email marketing is an integral part in building relationships and growing your business, but not everyone knows exactly how to do it. If you are one of those who wants to use email to streamline your business, here are a few ways to get started:
1) Appointment confirmations. Still using the old, pen, paper, and phone call method? Sure, this method still works most of the time, but why not relieve the burden of your front desk staff by leveraging emails to do appointment confirmations automatically? Rather than leaving voice mails (which happens much of the time), clients can just reply directly to an email to confirm. Not only will this help reduce no-shows, it’ll free up time for your front desk staff to spend more time giving excellent, face-to-face customer service.
2) Lost client reactivation. You might already have a steady flow of regular clients, but what about those who haven’t visited in a while? How do you get these clients through your doors sooner and more often? By using targeted and segmented email campaigns, you can remind clients who haven’t been in for over a certain number of months that you miss them and they are due for a service. If they need a little nudge, you can offer a limited-time special to incentivize them to come in sooner than they had planned.
3) Thanking your clients. So, you just saw your client and they leave your spa or salon. How satisfied were they, really? The only way to gauge your client satisfaction is by measuring it, and a quick email following their visit is an optimal time to thank them and ask for a little feedback. Not only does this show your clients that you care, it gives you the opportunity to learn what your strengths and weaknesses are to help you enhance the overall service experience.
4) Referrals. If you do not already have a referral program in place, you really ought to consider one. Word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective form of marketing, since people always trust their friends, family or coworkers more than paid advertising. Email is the perfect channel to remind your existing clients to send referrals your way. You can tie a promotion to your referral campaign, for example, by offering a special promotion for first-time visitors. And don’t forget to show your appreciation by rewarding your top-referring clients!
5) Build your relationships. Not every campaign needs to – or should – include an offer for your clients. You can also create email campaigns such as newsletters with monthly tips or valuable information that your clients would enjoy reading. For example, what are some helpful tips on keeping your hair healthy during the upcoming winter months? Write informational newsletters about topics they might care about that are related to your business. It keeps your business in front of the customer and helps establish a more on-going relationship.
Taking advantage of emails to confirm appointments, collect client feedback, generate referrals and ensure clients come back can be a time consuming task, but when done right, it can be a great way to drum up business and save costs. To help you out, Millennium Software and Demandforce have partnered to automate these efforts for you, so you no longer have to do them manually. To learn more, visit http://www.demandforce.com/millennium/
Update (2012): Demandforce is now integrated with Millennium via the automated marketing feature.